"To be a contract dancer during the golden age of movie musicals was “akin to being on intimate terms with the gods and goddesses of movieland ... Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Esther Williams, Van Johnson, Hedy LaMarr, Lana Turner, Judy Garland ... tripping the light fantastic on Mt. Olympus ... namely, MGM Studios.”
The above quote comes from Nostalgia magazine, Sept./Oct. 1988, from an article by the late Joan Woodbury, a well-known Hollywood actress who was formerly married to Henry Wilcoxon.
For seven glamorous and glorious years, Norman Borine danced in every great musical released by the roaring lion, moving from lowly chorus line member to in-demand front dancer and dance-in for Fred Astaire.
When he left MGM in 1950, Norman appeared in five Broadway-style shows at the famous outdoor Greek Theatre in Hollywood, followed by three months at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco with Gertrude Niesen in the road show of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
Following this, for two years he worked for Eleanor Powell as choreographer on her NBC TV show, “Faith of Our Children.”
Norman eventually moved to Palm Springs, California and continued living an interesting life, including promoting Bruce Lee's last film, "Game of Death," and creating a traveling Bruce Lee museum.
Norman Borine passed away November 27, 2005.
Where to buy in print
King Dragon — The World of Bruce Lee
by Norman Borine
Norman Borine, a personal friend of the Lee family and proprietor of The World of Bruce Lee Museum, tells the story of the martial artist s amazing life from birth to death, including anecdotes and quotes from Lee s family, friends, students and fans, as well as interesting facts about his amazing physical prowess and films.
Dancing with the Stars - A Story of the Golden Era of Hollywood Musicals
by Norman Borine
Norman Borine reveals the exciting and fascinating story of how he moved from a small town in Idaho to Hollywood, where he soon became a member of the elite MGM family. He explains how he leaped from $100 per week as a contract dancer, to becoming Cyd Charisse’s the first movie dance partner, to earning $1,000 per week as a “dance-in” for Fred Astaire.
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